When we hear news of banks foreclosing on improper addresses, losing paperwork or removing belongings from homes that have been paid off for decades, it seems to be Bank of America behind it. This Christmas Eve, it happened to a West Hartford family who had never made a late mortgage payment.
According to the CTWatchdog.com, “In one of the more bizarre foreclosure cases, Bank of America is threatening to throw a West Hartford family out of their home even though the couple never missed a mortgage payment. The largest bank in the United States earlier this month notified Shock Baitch and his wife Lisa (Friedman) Baitch that foreclosure action will start today – Christmas eve – unless the couple agrees to put their home up for a forced sale. Why? Because another unit of Bank of America erroneously reported to credit agencies that the family was seeking a loan modification, ruining their credit rating and as the result putting their mortgage into default. All this is happening even though the bank – after admitting it erred and sent a letter of apology in September – handed this case to a special unit at Bank of America that is charged with dealing with severe customer issues. It promised to notify the credit reporting agencies that the couple were not deadbeats, but were good credit risks.”
So what can America do about this continuous BoA cycle of scandal? Economist Barry Ritholtz said, “The obvious answer is the illegal processing of foreclosures. When lawyers, bank executives and there outside contractors are paid to violate the law, the local State Attorney General needs to prosecute these felons. Where Lawyers perjure themselves, swearing they have verified, reviewed and confirmed foreclosure files they never so much have looked at, they need to be disbarred. Its called the rule of law, and its long past time we actually enforced it.”
In Texas, a class action lawsuit was filed this year against Bank of America for nine illegal RESPA violations and it is rumored that more class action lawsuits are to be filed.
The sad truth is that cases like this West Hartford family are not rare. Bank of America has foreclosed on homes by continuing the foreclosure process even after the home was successfully sold to a new buyer and earlier this year, Bank of America foreclosed on a home they never even had a loan on. While banks including Bank of America have frozen foreclosure proceedings to allow investigations into “Robo-gate” (the scandal of banks using robo signatures without reviewing files manually prior to filing forclosure), it appears the filing process has not been frozen. According to Foreclosure Truth, “Bank of America has not only continued with foreclosure filings, but their activity has actually increased as a percentage of total filings each week.”
This Christmas eve threat and Bank of America’s endlessly poor proceedings are not the last we’ll hear of these horrible tales, no, this will continue until the banks see actual punishments for their abuses. What do you think the proper punishment should be? Who in the chain of command should see punishment? Tell us in comments what you think.